Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced several key appointments to his administration Tuesday, just hours before officially being sworn-in. Grace Rauh filed the following report.
The chairs are in rows. The stage is set. Now all City Hall needs is its new mayor.
I understand pretty personally just how big the challenge is. Just what it takes to do this job. And the fact that it is a 24/7 job, if ever there was one,” de Blasio said.
The 24/7 part starts soon - at the stroke of midnight. And then the work of governing begins. De Blasio could face an early test: a snowstorm is set to hit the city on Thursday.
“We’re going to be ready,” he said.
Mayor Bloomberg's Sanitation Commissioner, John Doherty, will be in charge of the snow preparation and clean-up. De Blasio asked him to stay on for a few months, until a replacement is named.
He says he did the same with the city's Fire Commissioner and Commissioner at the Office of Emergency Management.
“The operational work of government is going to continue very smoothly starting at 12:01 am.” de Blasio said.
Five new officials are joining his team. Gilbert Taylor, a top staff member at the city's Administration for Children's Services, will be Commissioner of Homeless Services.
And Polly Trottenberg, a top official at the federal department of transportation, will be the city's next Transportation Commissioner.
“This administration is going to be committed to expanding the use of bikes and we’re going to take a look also at pedestrian plazas, but we are going to do it in a respectful way,” said Trottenberg.
Bob Linn, the city's chief labor negotiator under Mayor Koch, will be director of Labor Relations.
Stanley Brezenoff, who also worked for Koch and ran the Port Authority, will be an unpaid special advisor to First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris.
Kyle Kimball, president of the Economic Development Corporation under Bloomberg, is staying on in his current position.
This flurry of appointments comes amid growing criticism over the slow pace of de Blasio's transition. Even with this latest round of hires, he will arrive at City Hall with fewer staff in place than other previous mayors.